Before his suspension, injury, and second suspension, Alex Ovechkin was easily on the way to getting the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the third time in his career. Since the Olympic break, the Russian Machine’s goal production has slowed, allowing the much-loved Sidney Crosby and the fresh-faced Steven Stamkos to catch him. On Sunday evening, Crosby scored two goals to take the lead with 47 goals. He now leads Ovie by 1 and Stamkos by 2.
With only a handful of games left in the regular season, can the Great Eight summon up the same magic he wielded from early in the season? RMNB contributor Fedor Fedin braved scary numbers to project how the remaining games will shake out.
First, Fedor calculated the average number of goals scored per game (both career and this season) against the opponents remaining on each player’s schedule. Summing up those goals and rounding down is as close as we can come to an estimated season-end goal total. Then we snorted a massive load of salt due to the small sample size. Finally, using both the career and season goal averages, Ovechkin should win the Rocket!
Ovechkin will have to surmount two obstacles to win it. He’s in the middle of a significant slump, and Stamkos and Crosby have picked up the pace with recent multiple-goal games. Should we be worried? We don’t think so. Alex responds well to pressure, and it’s safe to say his competitors don’t have the same drive to get 50 goals like he does. Only time will tell. But we’re certainly optimistic.
[Ed. note - The always-excellent hockey blog The Peerless Prognosticator beat us to the press by a few hours on this one. His methodology is slightly different, but we reached the same conclusion. So we extend a digital high five his way. ]